Heather - Statutory Weed Management Plan

Check the Weeds Index for more information on this and other weeds

Calluna vulgaris
(Heather)


Interpretation:

In this weed management plan:
  • "Act" means the Weed Management Act 1999.
  • "Approved quarantine place" means a place approved by the Secretary under section 70 of the Plant Quarantine Act 1997 for the purpose of examining any prescribed matter imported into or to be exported out of the State.
  • "Court fine' means a prescribed penalty for breaches against the Act. Court fines may be imposed if a person is convicted of any offence against the Act.
  • "DPIW" means the Department of Primary Industries and Water, Tasmania.
  • "Infringement fine" means a prescribed penalty for breaches against the Act. Infringement fines are imposed by way of an infringement notice that may be issued by a Weed Inspector.
  • "Inspector" means a Weed Inspector appointed under section 34 of the Act.
  • "Penalty unit" means the basic unit of the fine for which persons who fail to comply with any prohibition or requirement under the Act may be liable. One penalty unit equals $100 at April 2002.
  • "Biosecurity Tasmania" means that branch of the Department of Primary Industries and Water that, in cooperation with the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service, maintains both overseas and interstate biosecurity barriers for this state.
  • "Regional Weed Management Officer" means a person employed in the Department of Primary Industries and Water under that specific title.
  • "Regulations" means the Weed Management Regulations 2000.
  • Secretary" means the Secretary of the Department of Primary Industries and Water.
  • "heather" means Calluna vulgaris (L) Hull. (Syn. Erica vulgaris Linnaeus) and includes whole plants and plant parts. It does not include products such as tablets, lotions, tinctures or other preparations that contain extracts of these plants or other dead Calluna vulgaris materials. People who are uncertain about whether certain products (eg. dried materials) contain plant parts capable of regenerating should contact a Regional Weed Management Officer.

1. Purpose of this management plan:

The purpose of this weed management plan for heather is to:
  • Provide direction upon the implementation of the Act with respect to heather.
  • Specify measures to prevent the introduction and distribution of heather in Tasmania.

2. Area covered by this management plan:

The State of Tasmania is covered by this weed management plan.

3. Description and distribution of the weed:

Heather is an evergreen shrub from Europe, temperate Asia and Africa.

This plant can invade a variety of vegetation types and is a major weed of certain natural areas in New Zealand. It has potential to grow in a range of Tasmanian environments from sea level to upland areas.

Heather is sparingly naturalised at Kingston in the south - Refer to Table 1. Distribution of heather in Tasmania by municipality at 06/06. It is not known to be naturalised elsewhere in the state, although it is widely planted as an ornamental species. Declaration therefore assists preventative management of this plant by prohibiting its sale and trade. The plant is listed on the Australian Government's Alert List of Environmental Weeds so declaration also supports national efforts to reduce its trade and distribution.

    4. Importation of declared weed:

    A person must not import or allow to be imported into Tasmania any heather.

    It is an offence against section 57(1) of the Act to fail to comply with this prohibition. A person found committing that offence may incur an infringement fine of 4 penalty units. A person convicted in court of that offence may be liable to a fine not exceeding 50 penalty units.

    The Secretary may exempt a person from this prohibition under section 60 of the Act.

    Actions to assist compliance in this matter could include but are not limited to the following:
    • Persons travelling to Tasmania, in particular from areas infested with heather, should conduct thorough searches for the presence of the plant and apply appropriate hygiene measures, such as vehicle, baggage, footwear and clothing cleaning. In particular, any soil or plant material picked up from infested areas should be removed prior to entering Tasmania. Questions or concerns about hygiene issues should be directed to Biosecurity Tasmania personnel before or directly upon disembarkation in Tasmania.
    • Persons importing items to Tasmania that may contain heather should have these checked for the presence of the plant. This can be arranged through Biosecurity Tasmania.
    • Persons importing ornamental plants should ensure their stock does not include heather.
    Note: The importation of this species into Tasmania is also restricted under the Plant Quarantine Act 1997. Biosecurity Tasmania should be contacted for information on the relevance and application of the Plant Quarantine Act 1997 to activities concerning plant species.

    5. Procedures for notification of the occurrence of the weed:


    Inspectors shall notify a Regional Weed Management Officer of any heather occurrences. The Regional Weed Management Officer will then check the identity of the plant and if heather is confirmed the Principal Weed Management Officer will initiate a weed incursion response.

    6. Sale of declared weed:

    A person must not sell or otherwise distribute any heather or any thing carrying heather.

    It is an offence against section 56 of the Act to fail to comply with this prohibition. A person found committing that offence may incur an infringement fine of 4 penalty units. A person convicted in court of that offence may be liable to a fine not exceeding 50 penalty units.

    The Secretary may exempt a person from this prohibition under section 60 of the Act.
      Actions to assist compliance in this matter could include but are not limited to the following:
    • Persons selling or otherwise distributing ornamental plants should verify that these do not include heather. Plant identification queries may be referred to a Regional Weed Management Officer.

    7. Measures to reduce the number of heather plants, eradicate heather from an area or restrict heather to a particular area:


    An Inspector may, by serving a notice on the owner of any place, require that owner to implement any of the measures described in this part of the weed management plan or any other measures consistent with it.

    It is an offence against section 13(3) of the Act to fail to comply with a requirement notice issued by an Inspector. A person found committing that offence may be liable to an infringement fine of 8 penalty units. A person convicted of that offence in court may be liable to a fine not exceeding 100 penalty units and, in the case of a continuing offence, a further fine not exceeding 5 penalty units for each day during which the offence continues.
      Actions to assist compliance in this matter could include but are not limited to the following:
    • Persons discovering any plant resembling heather should contact a Regional Weed Management Officer without delay.
    • Persons wishing to dispose of heather or any thing contaminated with heather should notify a Weed Inspector or a Regional Weed Management Officer first, in order to receive direction and upon how best to do this.

    8. Storage in a specified area of any thing contaminated with the declared weed:


    Any thing found to be contaminated with heather may be removed to storage at an appropriate approved quarantine place. A Regional Weed Management Officer will determine whether removal to storage at any of these facilities or treatment/destruction of material in situ is most appropriate.

    Failure to comply with this requirement is an offence against section 51(1) of the Act. A person found committing that offence may incur an infringement fine of 4 penalty units. A person convicted of that offence in court may be liable to a fine not exceeding 50 penalty units.

    The Secretary may exempt a person from this requirement under section 60 of the Act.

    Actions to assist compliance in this matter could include but are not limited to the following:
    • A person who discovers or suspects he/she possesses any thing contaminated with heather should contact an Inspector or a Regional Weed Management Officer without delay. The contaminated thing should not be moved, treated or disposed of prior to making this contact. If heather is confirmed, the person will be directed and assisted in the proper management, including disposal, of the contaminated thing.

    9. Any other measures the Minister considers appropriate to control the weed:

    There are no other measures appropriate for the management of heather in Tasmania at this time.

      10. Exemptions:

      Persons wishing to gain exemption from any of provisions of the Act that relate to heather should contact a Regional Weed Management Officer to discuss the reasons for seeking the exemption and obtain an exemption application form.

      Persons granted an exemption should ensure they understand fully, any conditions specified in the exemption. Queries can be directed to a Regional Weed Management Officer.

      11. Review of this weed management plan:

      A review of this weed management plan may be undertaken at least once every five years if it is necessary and desirable to do so. The review will incorporate consultation with stakeholders deemed appropriate by the Secretary, DPIW.

      08/06

      Table 1. Distribution of Heather in Tasmania by municipality at 06/06.

      Note: Distribution based on Tasmanian Herbarium and DPIW records.

      MunicipalityHeather distribution *Management measures **
      Break O'DayNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      BrightonNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      BurnieNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      Central CoastNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      Central HighlandsNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      Circular HeadNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      ClarenceNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      Derwent ValleyNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      DevonportNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      DorsetNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      Flinders None recordedPrevention and early detection
      George TownNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      Glamorgan/Spring BayNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      GlenorchyNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      HobartNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      Huon ValleyNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      KentishNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      King IslandNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      KingboroughIsolated occurrencesImplement integrated control program for eradication and prevent future occurrences.
      LatrobeNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      LauncestonNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      Meander ValleyNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      Northern MidlandsNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      SorellNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      Southern MidlandsNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      TasmanNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      Waratah/WynyardNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      West CoastNone recordedPrevention and early detection
      West TamarNone recordedPrevention and early detection

      * Distribution Description Key:

      The distribution descriptions presented in Table 1 apply to naturalised populations of the plant only. They do not include amenity, garden, horticultural or other deliberate plantings unless specified. The descriptions are relative and provide a general indication only of the spatial status of the plant in the municipality. Detailed location information may be obtained by contacting a Regional Weed Management Officer. In addition, if you have reason to believe any of the distribution information presented in Table 1 is incorrect, please advise a Regional Weed Management Officer.

      Four distribution categories are used. These are:
        "None recorded". This means the plant is not known to be naturalised in the municipality, either from the records of the Tasmanian Herbarium or from DPIW databases. In cases where the plant was known to be naturalised at a previous time but is not known there currently, the description "Previously recorded, none known now" is used.

        "Isolated occurrences". This means the species is uncommon in the municipality, with populations limited to one or a few. The number of plants is generally small and/or populations cover small areas.

        "Localised infestations". This means the species is present in the municipality in moderate proportions, with populations numbering several. The number of plants is also moderate and/or populations cover moderate- sized areas.

        "Widespread infestations". This means the species is very common in the municipality, with many populations present. The number of plants present is generally large and/or populations cover large areas.

      ** When a DPIW approved weed management strategy that has local council endorsement exists, management of this declared weed in the municipality concerned should occur with direct reference to that strategy.


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